Compulsory fee planned for Mount Fuji climbers

By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

Hiking to the top of Mount Fuji, or “Fujisan” as it’s known in Japanese, is high up on the bucket-list for many locals and international tourists in Japan. As the country’s highest mountain, this active volcano (which last erupted in 1707-1708) has inspired painters and filmmakers over the centuries, standing tall as one of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a proud symbol of the nation.

During the summer months, when the trails are clear from snow, thousands of people come to climb to its peak elevation of 3,776.24 meters. With approximately 300,000 people climbing the mountain every year, the Fujisan World Cultural Heritage Council has been struggling to cover costs connected to the renovation of restrooms in mountain huts, the operation of aid stations along the trails, and the cleanup of trash left by visitors.

In order to help alleviate the problem, the Council implemented a donation system in 2014, asking climbers to pay a non-mandatory fee of 1,000 yen. However, only an average of around 50 percent of hikers on both the Yamanashi and Shizuoka sides of the mountain (Mount Fuji straddles the two prefectures) typically make the donation each year.

Last year, however, the number of climbers voluntarily paying the donation rose to 67.2 percent on the Yamanashi side and 67.4 percent on the Shizuoka side, providing the Council with promising evidence that more and more people are willing to help out with costs for the upkeep of the mountain and its facilities.


A special committee of the Council responsible for overseeing climbing costs convened yesterday in Tokyo to discuss the issue, formally agreeing to consider making entry fees mandatory.

The Committee, which advises the working group of the Fujisan World Cultural Heritage Council, consists of experts on mountain climbing and environmental issues, as well as representatives from both Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures.

The group expects to receive formal approval for the new compulsory payment system at their next meeting with the Council in March.

Following approval, the committee says they aim to finalize details regarding the fee amount and the method of collection by the end of the 2020 fiscal year, with a view to have the system in operation by the summer of 2022 at the earliest.

Source: Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Japan now has Mt Fuji bread!

-- Dear Hikers: Stop pooping on Mt. Fuji if you want it to keep its UNESCO status

© SoraNews24

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I’m not sure why people feel they should be able to climb the mountain, and not have to pay for its upkeep. If you don’t want to pay, don’t climb. If it costs too much, you’ve chosen the wrong hobby.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So contributing a small fee is nothing compared to the full wholistic experience and satisfaction that comes with that.

People don't like paying to climb mountains. I'm not debating that 5000 yen is a small price to pay for the experience. I'm just telling you that if you charge 5000 yen, then you will have lots and lots of people finding ways to avoid paying it. People are already doing it to avoid paying a voluntary fee. And the main way to avoid the places that collect the fee will be by scrambling up the scree in the dark.

For many people 5000 yen is not a 'small fee' when added to the other 'small fees' that it takes to get there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With virus spreading and this people trying to flees more money. Not to mention someone else made a good point of paying for hotel. Restaurant, transportation, renting other stuff you need , yeah !they are. Doing a grate job at pushing people away. Besides theres othere countries that are just as beautiful and cheap to visit

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Clippety thanks.

In your case of frequent visits perhaps a system like a seasonal lift pass at a ski-jo would be suitable.

Re the fee for casual / one timers, I still think it's ridiculously low.

Look at other activities / entertainment and many of them attract some of the highest fees I've ever seen.

From public museums to concerts to theme parks to movies to "live" shows in a cafe to running a marathon to renting a sea kayak for a coupla hours etc etc. People accept these charges - often way over imo - as a matter of fact.

So when it comes to the nations most important symbol, a source of the people's pride and joy and a powerful emblem world wide of the majesty of Japan, folks don't want to contribute or hardly so. And even more galling is it has world heritage status, which requires stiff taking care of. They have already had the hard word about the state of things by unesco - tend to it or lose it.

So contributing a small fee is nothing compared to the full wholistic experience and satisfaction that comes with that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I climbed it in '84 with a friend. It rained at the top. We were the only two tourists at the top. Those were the days to climb. I have a great picture of both of us sitting there cold and wet and drinking tea at the top. Priceless picture.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Browny, thanks for the reply. I still disagree though. People do it already to avoid the 1000 yen begging bowl. I do that mountain twice a week in summer, I’ve already seen folks scrambling around the 6th station. And I wouldn’t fancy paying 200,000 yen a season to do my job up there!

1000 yen is plenty

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, with 60% of climbers (300,000) voluntarily paying 1000Yen about ($10.oo US) , that's about 1.8 million dollars made by the Park during the climbing season just for admission to the climbing trail. That's a lot of money, and more than enough for the meager facilities and Huts (that make their own money to sustain their little huts), along the trail.

The climbing season is about late June to late Aug as I recall. Three months. I'm sure there is a company out there that could/would handle trail cleaning and maintenance for 1.8 million dollars from voluntary fee payments.

Sounds like just another way to squeeze money from the public. Sad.... but common here in Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Clippety - thanks for hte commment.

In all seriousness, I doubt that you'd have many scrambling up the scree as you put it.

For starters, as I understand it, that'd be "off limits" so very few would do.

And if they did, the inherent difficulty and dangers should quickly balance the equation.

Simply in this day & age of well recognized "over tourism" and it's associated problems, ¥5,000 is not much to ask if it can considerably alleviate these problems.

The fact that still 100,000 climbers don't pay the now fee - even though they must be aware of the environmental damage & dangers of mass climbs - means stricter controls are required.

If someone is truly interested in the welfare of the world heritage site, then they shouldn't begrudge such a sum.

No-one should think that they have an inherent right to do whatever they want to do - esp for free.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder if people staying in the 'yamagoya' mountain huts will be asked to pay this? Seems unfair to add another 1000 yen to the 8000 odd yen they are paying for the hut.

IMO ¥5000 would be a more appropriate figure.

Way too high. You’d have lots of climbers scrambling up the scree to avoid paying, and that wouldn’t be good

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Absolutely appropriate and WAY overdue.

Seems very simple and straightforward.

-- Rack rate for non-residents. Meaning no discount.

-- Kama' aina rate for residents (including resident foreigners): Discounted rate.

Completely logical, provided that the monies collected actually go to maintenance of the mountain and its facilities!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Way overdue.

Way too low.

IMO ¥5000 would be a more appropriate figure.

This would see a decrease in the number of climbers, taking a huge burden off the "maintenance" of the mountain, but still allow for enough funds to cover costs.

Mt Fuji is a world cultural heritage site - cultural, because it was too spoiled to be awarded physical status - and should be appreciated by all as such.

But unfortunately many (most?) see it just as a climbing challenge, oblivious to the impact that 100,000s of people make on a very limited space (trails only) over a very short time (a few months).

Somethings got to give and I'd suggest the best answer is the climbers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

AMS Today 07:59 am JST

Seeking money on every thing seems to greedy.

Not greedy - They stated: "renovation of restrooms in mountain huts, the operation of aid stations along the trails, and the cleanup of trash left by visitors" - 1000 yen is nothing compared to hotels, plane tickets, food, etc.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Seeking money on every thing seems to greedy.

Foreign climbers spend money on hotels, restaurant, transportation....that's enough to drag foreign money.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

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